Following the passage of Ekiti State Anti-Grazing Bill last week by the State Assembly and subsequent signing into Law on Monday, August 29th, 2016 by the Executive Governor Mr Ayodele Fayose, kudos have been trooping in appreciation of the law which primarily aims at restricting the movement of cattle and other livestock indiscriminately within the State.
Despite the praises ushering in, some reactions hae however trailed the law, stating that the State Government is strictly chasing out nomadic herdsmen from its State. In the bid to clear this assertion, the Commissioner of Justice Owoseni Ajayi, have stated clearly that the law is in no way against any group as been peddled in the media.
The Commissioner highlighted the main points of the law and how it affects no one in particular, except criminals who are hiding behind cattle-rearing to perpetuate crimes in and around the State.
He said the State Government has planned to provide grazing areas in the sixteen (16) local government areas of the State in order to provide lands for rearing of cattle and other livestock since it is a growing business that different tribes are involved in and the State will not in any way chase out investors.
He also said only the permitted lands will be allowed for grazing and all other farms are prohibited for usage by the herdsmen. And there shall not be allowed to wield arms as been reported in some cases.
The Commissioner of Justice who is also the Attorney-General of the State explained further that even as lands are to be provided for grazing, there is also limited time for grazing daily as he said the law recognized 7am-6pm only as anyone found grazing beyond those time limits will be arrested for violating the State’s law.
He concluded by stating that Bill which have been passed into Law have a penalty of six (6) months imprisonment without the option of fine to anyone found wanting. And also those found with firearms or deadly weapons will be given the terrorists treatment.